Ms Mouland and her daughter.

Ms Mouland and her daughter.

The kindness of strangers has come to light in a recent story about a mother who reached out to a total stranger after he entertained her autistic daughter on a plane.

She wrote a heartfelt letter expressing gratitude towards the businessman who engaged her three-year-old Kate in conversation instead of ignoring her.

Shanell Mouland, 36, from New Brunswick, Canada, uploaded a note to her blog ‘Go Team Kate’ after he patiently put his papers away and instead chose to spend the rest of the two and a half hours conversing with her daughter.

Ms Mouland said: “Thank you for not making me repeat those awful apologetic sentences that I so often say in public. Thank you for entertaining Kate so much that she had her most successful plane ride, yet. And, thank you for putting your papers away and playing turtles with our girl.”

She also revealed in her letter how Mr Kunkel had allowed Kate to call him ‘daddy’ without correcting her.

“Your jacket was soft and she liked the feel of it. You smiled at her and she said: ‘Hi, Daddy, that’s my mom.’ Then she had you. You could have shifted uncomfortably in your seat. You could have ignored her. You could have given me that ‘smile’ that I despise because it means; ‘manage your child please’. You did none of that. You engaged Kate in conversation and you asked her questions about her turtles.”

 Mr Kunkel

Mr Kunkel

In just a few days, that letter attracted over 51,000 hits and also helped to reunite her with the good samaritan in question.

One of Eric Kunkel’s relatives forwarded him the post and he was amazed when he found that he was the subject of the letter.

After reading it, he then went to Ms Mouland’s Facebook page and the two are now good friends.

Ms Mouland explained how her daughter Kate stayed well-behaved for the duration of the flight from Philadelphia to Maine and only started getting agitated towards touch down.

At the end of her letter, Mrs Mouland reassured her then unknown companion: “[Kate] was fine the moment we stepped off the plane. Thank you for letting us go ahead of you. She was feeling overwhelmed and escaping the plane and a big, long hug was all she needed.”

Mrs Mouland said the experience taught her to never judge someone based upon their appearance – which she did do with Mr Kunkel when she saw him on the plane.

She told Yahoo: “I assumed that a man in a business suit wouldn’t be patient with Kate and I’m so fortunate to have been proved wrong.”

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